FAIRFIELD — Gathering for a train ride and a good cause, close to 200 people were expected at the Western Railway Museum Saturday afternoon for Rio Vista CARE’s annual fundraiser.
As the sole mental health organization/provider in the Rio Vista area, CARE needs to raise money to help meet the mental health needs of the community, said CARE executive director Adriana Bejarano.
“We do get some county grants, but not everybody who walks into our doors qualifies for those services based on eligibility requirements,” Bejarano said. “The money raised here will cover everybody regardless of income, if somebody needs mental health counseling.”
She noted Rio Vista’s relative isolation, which makes CARE’s mission that much more important.
“Rio Vista is 45 minutes from everywhere,” Bejarano said. “Transportation routes – there are none. Basically, it’s within our own community providing for Rio Vista and the surrounding rural areas.”
CARE takes people from Courtland, Isleton and Walnut Grove as well, she said.
For Saturday’s fundraiser, supporters got to ride on one of the museum’s electric rail cars, a barbecue dinner and they got to participate in a silent auction, 50-50 raffle and a live auction, Bejarano said.
Depending on the year, CARE has raised as much as $20,000 in its fundraisers. Bejarano said the group had big hopes for Saturday’s event.
“We try to raise the most we can to so that we’re able to provide the services and we’re really grateful to our community,” she said. “I think about 30 percent of our funding does come from our community, so that’s a big chunk of our budget.”
Early responses Saturday indicated that the Railway Museum was a hit.
“The train rides turned out to be really fun,” Bejarano said. “People are coming in saying how wonderful they are.”
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.